Fireworks And Pets

PET CHECK BLOG - Night firework display

\\\ Fireworks Noise And Pets

\\\ updated 4 October 2021

Best ways to stop pets becoming anxious with firework noise

Fireworks and noise

Never take your dog to a firework display or any event where there’s expected to be loud noise

Autumn evenings start drawing in, and you may suddenly experience a loud firework bang one evening and it jogs the memory that Bonfire Night isn’t that far away, 5 November, each year, in the UK, with many exploding rockets, swizzle noises, bangs and hisses that upset your pets and animals.

After the wonderful and stunning global displays of Millenium fireworks, every weekend after was plagued with party nights and early mornings where individuals would let off displays for the most minor celebrations without a care in the world for other humans, let alone pets and animals.

Fortunately, the nation seems to have curbed these activities after the government introduced defined dates and times that fireworks could be launched. Failure to adhere could mean hefty fines being imposed to those concerned.

When Can You Use Fireworks?

Read the government information about UK firework date restrictions

Best ways to stop pets becoming anxious with firework noise

According to Pets At Home these are the signs of anxiousness in dogs and cats –

Typical signs of fear in a dog

  • Hiding
  • Pacing
  • Panting
  • Yawning
  • Salivating
  • Incontinence
  • Restlessness
  • Running away*
  • Flattened ears
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tail between its legs
  • Too distracted to focus

Typical signs of fear in a cat

  • Hiding
  • Spitting
  • Hissing
  • Swatting
  • Biting
  • Scratching
  • Puffed fur and tail
  • Arched back
  • Tail swishing
  • Frozen, no movement
  • Running away*
  • Flattened ears
  • Incontinence
  • Active anal glands

Pets At Home offer a range of anti-anxiety products, calming sprays, tablets, drops and diffusers that can help to reduce your pet’s anxiety. #Ad.

Best TIPS for a safe enjoyable fireworks night


  • Keep an eye out for dates of advertised firework displays and prepare in advance.
  • Make sure your pets are wearing their collars and ID tags in case they do escape your home.
  • Check your microchip details of your pet with the registration company are up-to-date.
  • Start taking your dog for an earlier walk before dusk to settle your dog down a week or so before.


  • Close windows, and curtains and blinds to screen out any bright lights.
  • Make sure your pet bed is in a comfortable and quiet spot in the home, as are cats beds. If you are at home try and keep them near to you.
  • Cats may hide themselves under a bed. Leave them there if they feel safe and secure.
  • Turn the television or music volume up to help drown out the loud noises.
  • Have treats ready. A Kong is a great idea with a treat tucked inside as it takes a little while for a dog to lick out all the contents and possibly will be so preoccupied with getting the food rather than being distracted to loud bangs!

outside pets

  • Bring outside rabbits and small pets into a shed or garage if possible. Cover their cage or hutch with layers of blankets acting like blackout curtains which will keep the glaring lights out and muffle some of the noise. Make sure there’s air circulating around their cage.
  • Add extra straw and bedding in their cages and hutches so that can bury underneath.


  • Dogs can develop behaviour problems, such as inappropriate toileting, nervousness, barking, destruction, and self-mutilation. Cats may stop using their litter tray, for example. It would be wise to see your vet for their opinion about any problems that may continue.


  • Make on a bonfire on the day of the event and away from as many bushes and trees as possible. This allows less small animals to crawl in and take refuge.
  • Check you bonfire before lighting it, shake it and disturb it, trying to ensure all hedgehogs, toads and frogs run away.
  • Light your bonfire only in one side and this allows small animals to escape the fire.

Pet experiences

“The first loud audible bang of the fireworks season, our cats would race in through the cat hatch and stay in the house until early morning, finding members of the family and settle down with them curling up in the living space knowing they were safe and our dogs would have had earlier evening walks and be lying down content in the lounge with us whilst all the noise carried on. We didn’t react to the fireworks so they didn’t, which perhaps is one of the best tips one can give any new pet owner.

However a friend asked me to pet sit for her Jack Russell dog and it was an extraordinary and truly awful experience. The really lovable dog had been out for a walk, and had a meal and was settled in an armchair snoozing when the first bang went off and that was the start of two or three hours of utter chaos. He tore up the stairs and down many times, turning around and around in circles, he visibly shook from head to toe, he barked and barked, he tried jumping up and down at the front door as if he wanted to escape and peed on the floor. He’d finally calm down only more loud noises later to start him off again. It was truly a pitiful sight to see this lovely pet so agitated and anxious.

My friend resorted to finding out about herbal remedies. One tablet had to be taken about an hour before the expected onslaught of noise, which was secreted in his meal.

I was pet-sitting and it was expected that fireworks may be let off so Freddie had been ‘doped’ with a herbal tablet. About an hour later, local children were having a party near by and some firework noises could be heard, however the change in this dog was remarkable. He sat with me on the sofa, cuddled up asleep and only lifted his head slightly onto my lap at the sound of the first bang. He didn’t move for several hours snoozing away and content.

On another occasion during the following days, the local firework party’s started early and he had only swallowed the tablet about half an hour earlier and this wasn’t enough time to keep him calm. He anxiety actions weren’t as violent as previously but he still became agitated. So it was necessary to give Freddie a tablet at least the full hour as the prescription had detailed for it to start calming him fully”.



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